The Minute Book
Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Snipers of the 8th Cdn Inf Bn
Topic: CEF


"Watch me make a fire-bucket of 'is helmet," (cropped)
by Bruce Bairnsfather, from Fragments from France, (Putnams, 1917).

Snipers of the 8th Canadian Infantry Battalion

Canada in Flanders, by Sir Max Aitken, M. P., 1916

July was a sniper's month. True, every month is a sniper's month; the great game of sniping never wanes, but the inactivity in other methods of fighting left the field entirely free for the sharpshooter in July.

It was during the fighting at Givenchy in June, 1915, that four snipers of the 8th Canadian Battalion (Winnipeg Rifles) agreed to record their professional achievements from that time forward on the wood of their rifles.

Private Ballendine, one of the four, is from Battleford. He is tall and loosely built. In his swarthy cheeks, black eyes, and straight black hair, he shows his right to claim Canadian citizenship, by many generations of black-haired, sniping ancestors. He learned to handle a rifle with some degree of skill at the age of ten years, and he has been shooting ever since. At the present time he carries thirty-six notches on the butt of his rifle. Each notch stands for a dead German—to the best of Ballendine's belief. One notch, cut longer and deeper into the brown wood than the others, means an officer.

To date, Private Smith, of Roblin, Manitoba, has scratched the wood of his rifle only fourteen times but he is a good shot, has faith in his weapon, and looks hopefully to the future.

Private McDonald, of Port Arthur, displays no unseemly elation over his score of twenty-six.

Private Patrick Riel makes a strong appeal to the imagination , though his tally is less than McDonald's by two or three. He is a descendant of the late Louis Riel, and when he enlisted in the 90th Winnipeg Rifles at the outbreak of the war, and was told by one of his officers that his regiment had done battle against his cousin Louis at Fish Creek and Batoche, he showed only a mild interest in this trick of Time. Riel, like McDonald, comes from Port Arthur way. Before the war he earned his daily bacon and tobacco as a foreman of lumber-jacks on the Kaministiquia River.

The weapons used by these four snipers are Ross rifles, remodelled to suit their peculiar and particular needs. Each is mounted with a telescopic sight, and from beneath the barrel of each much of the wood of the casing has been cut away. The men do their work by day, as the telescopic sight is not good for shooting in a poor light. They are excused all fatigues while in the trenches and go about their grim tasks without hint or hindrance from their superiors. They choose their own positions from which to observe the enemy and to fire upon him, sometimes in leafy covers behind our front-line trench, sometimes behind our parapet. Very little of their work is done in the "No Man's Land'' between the hostile lines, for there danger from the enemy is augmented by the chance of a shot from some zealous but mistaken comrade. the mention of "No Man's Land" reminds me that, on the Canadian front, this desolate and perilous strip of land is now called "Canada." The idea is that our patrols have the upper hand here, night and day—that we govern the region, though we have not stationed any Governor ot Resident magistrate there as yet.

elipsis graphic

The Snipers

While working from names only, especially in cases of common surnames like "Smith," it can be a challenge to positively identify soldiers in the Library and Archives Canada database of Soldiers of the First World War. As best as can be determined with the available information, including the battalion's 1915 nominal roll, it is possible that these are the 8th Battalion snipers:


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 14 October 2014 12:26 AM EDT
Monday, 13 October 2014

Extravagance in Officers Messes (1906)
Topic: Officers

Extravagance in Officers Messes

Blasts from then Trumpet
The Quebec Daily Telegraph, 5 May 1906

The British Army Council have not yet relaxed their efforts to eliminate extravagance in the conduct of officers' messes in the army, and some drastic rules on the subject have just been framed and will shortly be issued.

Commanding officers are to be held responsible that the mess is conducted without undue expense. No semi-private account books, in which extra charges and unauthorized subscriptions are shown are to be kept, and the commanding officer will be held strictly responsible that every charge made against an officer is shown in the official mess account which are produced for the inspection of the general commanding.

Presents of plate from officers on first appointment, on promotion, or on other occasions are absolutely prohibited.

Expensive entertainments are only to be given with the sanction of the general commanding, and no officer who has not signified his consent in writing is to be called upon to pay any part of the expense so incurred. Commanding officers are to give their special countenance and protection to any officers who decline to share in the proposed expense.

No general subscription, whether voluntary of otherwise, for entertainments, including general charges for lunches at race meetings, polo, and cricket matches, is to be made without the general's consent.

The keeping of a regimental coach is forbidden.

Officers of cavalry and infantry of the line are no longer to pay contributions to the band fund while the unit to which he belongs is serving at home or in the colonies.

This order will remove a very heavy burden. In India, officers will continue to pay certain contributions to the band fund.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Sunday, 12 October 2014

A Canadian Militia Training Camp (1874)
Topic: Canadian Militia


Sergeants of the 7th Fusiliers in 1895.

Kensington Camp (1874)

Strength of Battalions—The Daily Routine—Target Practice

The Daily Advertiser, London, Ont.; 8 September 1874

Last evening the camp was completed by the arrival of the 22nd Oxford Rifles, and to-day the whole plain is dotted with snow white tents to the number of three or four hundred. Even at this early day the camp looks well, the many bright colored flags marking the various headquarters and other prominent points, increasing the attractive appearance of the encampment. Visitors, of whom there were a good many, find much to enjoy and interest them in a trip through the lines.

The Strength

The strength of the several corps on the ground is as follows:

  • 7th Battalion; 8 companies, 25 officers, 280 rank and file, and 26 band.
  • 24th Battalion; including two independent corps, 8 companies, 300 of all ranks.
  • 26th Battalion; 7 companies, 21 officers, 270 rank and file, 21 band.
  • 22nd Battalion; 24 officers, 324 rank and file, including band.
  • The London Field Battery; 4 officers, 86 non-commissioned officers and men.
  • The Cavalry; 4 troops, 12 officers, 141 rank and file.

Making a total of about 1,500 men all ranks.

The Daily Routine

The daily routine, as at present fixed by Brigade orders, is:

  • reveille at 6 a.m., at which hour a gun will be fired by the artillery;
  • breakfast at 8 a.m.;
  • squad and company drill at 7 a.m.;
  • commanding officer's parade at 10:30 a.m.
  • dinner at 1 p.m.;
  • guard mounting at 2 p.m.;
  • afternoon drill at 3 p.m.;
  • tea at 5 p.m.;
  • tattoo at 9 p.m.;
  • lights out at 10 p.m.;
  • retreat at 6 p.m., at which hour a gun will be fired by the artillery.

The Rifle Ranges

The rifle ranges at the coves were occupied to-day by five companies of the 7th Battalion. The shooting as a whole was poor, far below the average, though some excellent individual scores were made.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Saturday, 11 October 2014

An Air Militia, 5000 Strong (1920)
Topic: RCAF

G-CYEI started life in the Canadian Air Force as an Avro 504K on 27 October, 1921 when its certificate of registration was issued, after having been gifted to Canada in 1919 along with 113 other assorted Aircraft by Great Britain. (Source)

Canada to Have Volunteer Air Militia 5,000 Strong

New Canadian Air Force, To Be Recruited at Once,
is Announced by Ottawa

Preliminary Strength About 5,000 of All Ranks —
Organization Will Be Along Lines of Militia, Not Permanent Units —
Almost Whole Personnel Non-Professional

The Toronto World, 5 April 1920

A Short-Lived Plan

This plan to develop a Canadian air militia began in July 1920 and ended in March 1922 when the air militia was dissolved.

Ottawa, April 4.—(By Canadian Press)—A Canadian air force is to be formed immediately, and the personnel will be drawn from volunteers from the ranks of ex-officers and airmen of the Royal Air Force, resident in Canada. These will train at centres, which will be in operation all the year round and officers and airmen enlisted in the new force will spend at least one month out of every 24 in active training, receiving pay and traveling expenses during their active period.

The force probably will be limited in the beginning to about five thousand, inclusive of all ranks, and the training centres will not number more than one or two to begin with for the whole Dominion. It is understood that the Government wishes to avoid an expensive permanent organization. The organization of the force will be placed in the hands of Canadians who have had experience at home and on the war fronts in flying, and who are interested in building up a Canadian air militia which can readily be extended and mobilized in an emergency. Age limit is set at about 30 for junior officers, and 33 for senior officers.

Applicants for Enrolment

Applicants for enrolment in the new air force, giving all particulars of previous service may be sent at once to the secretary of the air board at Ottawa.

Volunteer provincial executive committees of seven, acting without remuneration, will administer the force by provinces. Four members of each committee will be nominated by the officers of the ative list in each province and three members will be nominated by the respective lieutenant governors. A grant will be made from headquarters to cover the expenses of an office and secretary.

Official Announcement

The announcement of the air board in the connection follows:

"The government has been very carefully considering the question of the formation of a Canadian air force and has decided upon the immediate formation of such a force from among the ex-officers and airmen of the Royal Air Force resident in Canada. Provision will later be made for the recruitment of all ranks of the force so constituted, but the numbers of ex-officers and airmen in Canada is at present such that it is not necessary to make provision for such recruitment.

"The force will be a militia, not a permanent force. Almost the whole personnel will be non-professional, and the professional personnel will be negligible in number.

Officers Will Be Commissioned

"The Total Authorized Strength will probably be in the neighbourhood of 5000. Commissions will be given to officers and airmen will be enlisted in the usual way. It is proposed that training should be carried on at training centres, which the personnel will attend, not by units, but as individuals attending as may be arranged or directed during one month in every twenty-four being on leave without pay at all other times. They will receive pay while on duty and their traveling expenses to and from the training centres will be paid.

"It is considered important that the training not only provide efficient junior officers and airmen, but that it should be such as to furnish a supply of senior officers qualified to take command of larger formations in emergencies and an opportunity will consequently be afforded to senior officers to take command of training centres for periods longer than one month, but probably not in any case exceeding six months. The undertaking of duty for such extended periods will not be compulsory, but officers who volunteer for extended periods of duty will, of course, be entitled to preference in the consideration of appointments and promotions.

Administration of Force

"It is hoped that the same plan may be applied to the duties to be performed at Canadian air force headquarters and that a succession of officers will be found from time to time able to assume duties at Ottawa in connection with the administration of the force as a whole. In this way a large number of officers and particularly the senior officers will be afforded an opportunity in normal times to obtain as great a familiarity as possible with the duties which they would be called upon to perform in an emergency and the force will become more readily capable of expansion in circumstances required it.

"The training stations will be few in number. At first it may not be possible to establish more than one, but at least a second doubtless will have to be added shortly and plans for this purpose are under consideration.

System of Committees

"The local administration of the force will be carried on by provincial executives' committees acting without remuneration, but receiving a grant towards the expenses of maintaining an office and the payment of a secretary. It is proposed that these committees shall consist of seven members, of whom four shall, after the first year, be elected by officers on the active list of the force in the province, the remaining three being nominated by the lieutenant governor of the province, each lieutenant governor having been invited to act as honorary president of the branch of the Canadian Air Force Association in his province and to select all the members of the first executive committee and the three appointed members of subsequent committees. It is intended that the executive committee should keep the provincial rosters, arrange for the attendance of the provincial personnel for training and perform other necessary administrative duties, exercising a general supervision over the interests of the force within their respective provinces.

Retirement of Officers

"It is proposed that the active list should include only officers of such an age that they can be expected to render useful air service in war and retirement from the active list will be compulsory for junior officers at or about the age of 30 and for the most senior officers at or about the age of 38.

"Negotiations are on foot with the British Air Ministry, looking to an arrangement whereby any duties that may be assumed by officers on the reserve of the Royal Air Force will not be inconsistent with the duties they assume as officers of the Canadian Air Force. Officers on the reserve of the Royal Air Force may, therefore, volunteer to serve with the Canadian Air force and such use of their services in the latter force will be made as the arrangement with the air ministry renders possible.

Officers and Airmen Eligible

"All officers and airmen who have served with the Royal Air Force in any branch or department and are willing to undertake service with the Canadian Air Force on the lines of the proposition above indicated and in the ranks which they held on demobilization are invited to send notice to the secretary of the air board, Ottawa, with particulars in each case showing the full name of the applicant in block capitals, his permanent address, his age and his rank on discharge from the Royal Air Force or of his transfer to or discharge from the reserve of such force. The application should be accompanied by a copy of the applicants discharge certificate or of the advice that he has been transferred to the Royal Air Force reserve."

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 11 October 2014 12:48 AM EDT
Friday, 10 October 2014

New British Army Honours in 1882
Topic: Battle Honours

Awarded in 1882, these awards for Quebec and Louisburg were granted 123 and 124 years after the battles. Those for Marlborough's victories were awarded 173 to 178 years afterward.

Regimental Honours

"Louisburg" and "Quebec" Added to the Colours of various Regiments

The Quebec Daily Telegraph; 25 July 1882

In consequence of the report of a committee appointed last year [1881] to consider the claims of certain regiments to honorary distinctions arising out of the participation in some of the victories of the last century, a considerable number of these corps has been authorized to bear in their respective colours and appointments the names of Marlborough's battles.

The Battle of Louisburg, and Wolfe's Victory at Quebec

The Battle of Louisburg, and Wolfe's Victory at Quebec in 1759, the names of "Blenheim," "Ramillies," "Oudenarde," and "Malplaquet" will accordingly be done on the colors and appointments of the following regiments:—

  • Kings Dragoon Guards
  • 3rd, 5th, 6th and 7th Dragoon Guards
  • The Scots Greys
  • The Fifth Lancers
  • The Grenadier Guards
  • The Royal Scots
  • The Buffs
  • Liverpool (8th) Regiment
  • Lincolnshire (10th) Regiment
  • East Yorkshire (15th) Regiment
  • Bedfordshire (16th) Regiment
  • Royal Irish (18th) Regiment
  • Royal Scots Fusiliers (21st)
  • Royal Welsh Fusiliers (23rd)
  • Second Warwickshire Regiment (24th)
  • Scotch Rifles (26th)
  • The Hampshire (37th) Regiment

The Coldstream Guards are to bear the names of "Oudenarde" and "Malplaquet" and the Gloucester (28th) Regiment, and the Worcestershire (29th) Regiment, are to bear that of "Ramillies" respectively.

"Louisburg" and "Quebec, 1759"

The following regiments are authorized to inscribe "Louisburg" and "Quebec, 1759" upon their colours:—

  • The East Yorkshire (15th)
  • The Gloucester (28th)
  • The Royal Sussex (35th)
  • The North Lancashire (47th)
  • The Northamptonshire (58th)
  • The King's Royal Rifle Corps (60th)

The King's Royal Scots, Lienstershire (17th), Cheshire (22nd), South Lancashire (40th), Sherwood Foresters (45th), Northamptonshire (48th) and Wiltshire (62nd) are to bear the name of "Louisburg." The Monmouthshite Light Infantry (43rd), bear the name of "Quebec, 1759."

Of the above regiments the 7th Dragoon Guards, 5th Lancers, and Bedfordshire had hitherto been without and decoration commemorative of active service, and the 21st Hussars will now be the only regiment without such distinction. Of the cavalry regiments, the 16th Lancers have the largest number of battles (thirteen) on their standards. Of the infantry regiments, the King's Rifles (60th) head the list with twenty-nine achievements, and the Rifle Brigade follow next with twenty-six. The Royal Scots, the Gloucester, and the Dublin Fusiliers have twenty five each; the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, South Staffordshire, South Lancashire, and Highland Light Infantry have twenty-three each; the Sherwood Foresters twenty-one, and the Gordon Highlanders twenty.


Note: This article required a few corrections based on what appeared to be typesetting errors on the Telegraph version. The reference Battle Honours of the British and Commonwealth Armies, by Anthony Baker (Ian Allen Ltd, 1986), was used as a reference.

Canadian Army Battle Honours


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Thursday, 9 October 2014

The Garrison Church Parade, Halifax, 1901
Topic: Halifax

The Garrison Church Parade

(From an American visitor's description of his visit to Halifax.)

Boston Evening Transcript; Wednesday, 14 August, 1901
(Mark Sullivan — Special Correspondent of the Transcript.)

Halifax, N.S., Aug 12.

The forty-five thousand people of Halifax have the creditable record of supporting forty-five churches—forty-four and the Christian Scientist, to be exact. But the Garrison church, just under Citadel Hill, is the Sunday morning Mecca of the tourists who spend the Sabbath in Halifax. About half-past ten one begins to hear the distant bugle calls at the widely separated barracks occupied by the engineers, the infantry and the artillery. A little later there is the music of fife and drum in one direction and of a brass band in another, and the next sound is the heavy tramp of marching feet as the soldiers file up to the church door.

For my own part I rather regret I did not follow my companion's urging to be content with the event when we had watched the soldiers file up the church steps, and come away to attend service in another church. One may be but an indifferent churchgoer himself and yet resent seeing a church service reduced so completely and utterly to a mere matter of form. Tommy Atkins goes to church because General Orders No. 505 says he must. He marches up the church steps in fours, he bends his knee in fours, he files into pews in fours, he sits down in fours—in short, the whole thing is done in fours, per military regulations. The individual soldier's manner is grave and respectful. You can detect in no face any expression that jars with reverence. There is no whispering, everything is done with punctilious correctness and formality. And yet the stranger, accustomed to churches where people attend for other reasons than General Order 505, and where there are women in the congregation, is quick to miss some intangible thing whose lack makes him vaguely uncomfortable; and is apt to realize with perfect vividness for the first time in his life perhaps the exact meaning of that not always subtle something, the spirit as distinguished from the act. His next emotion is apt to be a silent tribute to the wisdom of that college president who a generation in advance of his time abolished compulsory chapel.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 19 September 2014 2:25 PM EDT
Wednesday, 8 October 2014

The Battle of Kiska
Topic: Canadian Army

The Battle of Kiska

In an Aleutians Islands operation in 1943, U.S. and Canadian troops found themselves pitted against three Japanese dogs.

Kiska Capture Puts Allies On Road To Tokyo

The Ottawa Citizen; 23 August, 1943 — (excerpted)

Canadians Involved

The Canadian Fusiliers of London, Ont., under Lt.-Col. Russell H. Beattie, M.C., 48, London, Ont.

The Winnipeg Grenadiers under Lt.-Col. J.A. Wilson, Winnipeg, who returned from overseas to take over this reconstitution of the original battalion which served at Hong Kong.

The Rocky Mountain Rangers, an interior British Columbia unit under Lt.-Col. D.B. Holman, M.C., 48, Salmon Arm, B.C.

Le Regiment de Hull (Que,.) under Lt.-Col. Dollard Menard, D.S.O., 30, Quebec, one of the heroes of last summer's Dieppe battle.

A company of the St. John (N.B.) Fusiliers under Maj. G.P. Murphy, 27, Saint John.

The 24th Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery, under Lt.-Col. R.P. Drummond, 50, Spencerville, Ont., and Montreal.

The 46th Light Anti-Aircraft Battery under Maj. J.A. MacDonald, 51, Burlington, Ont.

The 24th Field Company of the Royal Canadian Engineers under Maj. D.H. Rochester, 27, Toronto.

The 25th Field Ambulance of the Royal Canadian Medical Corps under Lt.-Col. T.M. Brown, 40, Calgary and Ottawa.

In addition there were detachments from Ordnance, Army Service, Provost, Pay and Postal Corps.

The Kiska operation was the first in the Aleutians in which Canadian soldiers have taken part but Canadioan naval and air personnel have served there previously.

Many of the Canadian personnel were men were men called up for compulsory military service inder the national Resources Mobilization Act.

The Ottawa Citizen; 3 January 1956
By Warren Baldwin, Southam News Services

On August 15, 1943, an assault force of 29,000 Americans and 5,300 Canadians was dispatched to attack a Japanese force of three dogs.

The story of the occupation of the Aleutian Island of Kiska, gleaned for the first time from both Japanese and Canadian military records, in included in the first volume of the official history of the Canadian army in the Second World War. The author, C.P. Stacey, Director of the Historical Section, General Staff, labels it "Fiasco at Kiska."

The story confirms finally the fact that the Japanese had been evacuated from Kiska under cover of fog 18 days before the Canadian-American operation was scheduled to start. The decision to evacuate was not taken because of any knowledge of the assault but because the Japanese believed the forces occupying the island could be employed more usefully in the Kuriles, nearer home. It also strengthens Colonel Stacey's conclusion that at no time during the war did the Japanese have any plans for a full scale attack on Canada's west coast.

Political Motive

The Aleutian campaign to get the Japanese off Attu and Kiska, Colonel Stacey says, was more political than military. On the map, he points out, the Aleutians seem to form a natural bridge from Asia to North America, but appearances are deceptive. From the most westerly island, Attu, to Dutch Harbour is 800 miles and from Dutch Harbour to Vancouver, 1,650 miles. It might have been better, he suggests, to "leave the japs to freeze in their own juice on Kiska and Attu, where they were at most a nuisance to American operations in the Pacific."

But the people of Alaska and British Columbia were alarms and critical and both Ottawa and Washington were concerned. Stacey reports elsewhere that by February, 1942, "public opinion on Canada's Pacific Coast was in a state approaching panic." The Vancouver Sun was prosecuted under Defence of Canada Regulations in March for suggesting that Ottawa was treating British Columbia as expendable.

Attu was occupied in May, 1943, by the American 7th Division after "a nasty little campaign in which the Japanese fought to be killed and the Americans obliged them"

Canadian participation in the Kiska campaign of one brigade group was requested formally in a letter from Secretary of War Stimson to Defence Minister Ralston on May 31, 1953. The 13th infantry brigade formed for the purpose under the command of Brigadier H.W. Foster consisted of the Canadian Fusiliers, the Winnipeg Grenadiers (reformed after Hong Kong), the Rocky Mountain Rangers and Le Regiment de Hull. In addition, the first battalion of the U.S.-Canadian Special Service Force was brought up from a United States training base to join the operation.

There was plenty of evidence, Colonel Stacey points out, to indicate that the Japanese had evacuated previously. RCAF planes on August 11 reported no sign of life. But trickery was suspected. Major-General G.R. Pearkes, the Commander-in-Chief of Pacific Command, whoi had set up advanced headquarters at Adak, wrote afterwards that it was thought the enemy had evacuated main camps and moved to battle positions on the beaches and hills.

Island Empty

It took four days for the troops to realize that they had landed on an empty island. Japanese records state that nothing had been left on the island but three dogs.

One reason behind Ottawa's decision to participate was the opportunity to use draftees under the National Resources Mobilization Act on active service in order to break down the hostile attitude of the public toward "zombies". The Kiska affair, Stacey comments, had no such result, which was "particularly regrettable as the NMRA men behaved admirably."

There had been some suggestion of a reconnaissance of the island by boat to check on air force reports, but this was not done.

"In the light of hindsight," he says, "this decision seems unfortunate. It was a pity to give the enemy the satisfaction of laughing at us."

Canadian Army Battle Honours


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 16 August 2020 5:46 PM EDT
Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Dealing with Casualties in Action
Topic: CEF

General System of Dealing with Casualties in Action

Field Service Regulation, Part II
Organization and Administration, 1909
(Amendments to October 1914)

Chapter XI—The Medical Services
Article 90

1.     Every officer and man will carry on a string round his neck an identity disc showing his name, number if any, unit and religion. He will also carry a first field dressing in the right hand skirt pocket of his coat. Both disc and dressing should be frequently inspected.

2.     In action against a civilized enemy, no one other than a stretcher bearer is to carry a wounded man to the rear, unless ordered to do so.

3.     Ammunition will, when practicable, be taken from wounded men before they are sent to the rear, and will be disposed on under the order of the divisional commander. Otherwise arms, ammunition, accoutrements, and personal kit of sick and wounded men will be taken to hospital along with the men. Arms, &c., not required for patients, will be periodically handed over by hospitals to ordnance depots.

4.     Wounded men will be attended to in the first instance by the medical establishment of the unit, and will afterwards be removed by the field ambulance.

5.     The first field dressing applies as a protection against dirt and to stop hemorrhage, with the addition of some support to a broken limb, before removal of the patient, is all that is needed on the field itself. After this first aid a wounded man should be left where he lies, under as good cover as possible, unless the nature of the ground, a pause in the fighting, or the approach of darkness allows systematic collection and removal.

6.     The field ambulance of a division will operate over the areas allotted to them according to the arrangements made by the assistant director of medical services of the division. Their first duty is to establish touch by means of their bearer divisions with the regimental medical service of the units in the area assigned to them, to observe the position of casualties, and to obtain information regarding the places where wounded have been left under cover. The ambulance wagons are then brought as far forward as possible, and the stretcher squads carry the wounded to them.

7.     Cases able to walk will be directed to the divisional collecting station, which is a well-defined spot previously selected for the purpose and notified to the medical personnel concerned by the assistant director of medical services of the division.

8.     A tent sub-division may be sent forward with sufficient equipment to form an advanced dressing station, where th more seriously wounded are brought to the ambulance wagons by the stretcher squads. The rest of the tent divisions will remain in rear, and open there as a link between the advanced dressing station and the clearing hospital; or they may be sent forward to expend the advanced dressing station, according to circumstance.

9.     In order that as many sections as possible may be in hand to meet developments, the principle should be observed of not opening more sections of ambulances than are absolutely necessary until the locality is known where the number of casualties is greatest. One section at least should be held in reserve to the last to provide for a counter-attack.

10.     The work of removing wounded during actual fighting must be left to the initiative of commander of the field ambulances, and to the medical service with regimental units. The assistant director of medical services is mainly concerned in issuing orders relative to the opening or closing of the ambulances and in maintaining connection between them and the clearing hospitals; for this purpose he will indicate to all concerned the place to which the dressing stations of the tent divisions should send back the wounded. If a detachment from a clearing hospital is not available one or more tent divisions of a field ambulance should be detailed to this spot. From the ambulances all except very slight cases, for discharge to duty within two days, will be sent to clearing hospitals as soon as possible.

11.     It is of great importance that information regarding the situation, as affecting the number of the casualties and the area where they are occurring, should constantly be transmitted between brigade and divisional headquarters in order to enable the assistant directors of medical services with divisions to regulate the movements of the field ambulances.

12.     The main work of clearing the area of operations of the wounded takes place after a battle. Under the orders of the commander, arrangements are made by the A.G's branch of the staff, after consultation with that of the Q.M.G. and with the General Staff, for the collection of the wounded whom the regimental medical service and bearer divisions of the ambulances were unable to bring in during the progress of the battle. It may be found necessary to detail special detachments of fighting troops to aid in this work, while, whenever it is possible without interfering with military operations, all units in the vicinity of a battlefield should, after an action, search the ground in their neighbourhood for wounded, and render such assistance as may be in their power. One or more control points, usually where dressing stations have been placed, should be selected for collection of wounded, and systematic search made of the whole area, a portion being alotted to each search paty, which should be accompanied by a medical officer, a proportion of stretcher squads and one or more ambulance wagons.

13.     Arrangements for evacuation of the wounded to the L. of C. are the duty of the Q.M.G's branch of the staff, the A.G's branch being informed of the dispositions made for this purpose.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Monday, 6 October 2014

The Indispensable Infantry
Topic: Military Theory

The Indispensable Infantry

The Indispensable Infantry, Lecture to 2nd Division Officers' Class, 1932, Field-Marshal Earl Wavell, reprinted in The Good Soldier, 1948

Before dealing with the attempts to modernise our infantry … it seems important to decide what the true role of the infantry is. Here are some that have been suggested in various quarters:—

  • To act merely as scavengers to the artillery, and as jackals to the tanks, to do the work of moppers-up and hangers-on.
  • To hold bases or "pivots" for armoured forces.
  • To act as armed policemen to keep the peace within the Empire.
  • To act as light infantry in rough and enclosed country, in mountains and forests.

The first is the solution that the French seem to have adopted, with their short-service army and limited problem; and it is presumably the solution of those who believe that the machine-gun has completely paralysed movement on the battle-field.

The second is the solution of the mechanical warfare enthusiasts.

The third has always been, in practice, one of the principal roles of the British infantry; and demands incidentally a higher standard of training, common sense, and discipline than probably any other role.

The fourth role is a kind of compromise which would divide theatres of war into "tank" country and "infantry" country, tank enthusiasts having somewhat grudgingly recognised that the Almighty in his inscrutable wisdom has created some country unsuitable for Armoured Fighting Vehicles.

My own view is that infantry properly trained, and there is no excuse for our long-service infantry not being properly trained, can carry out any of the above roles, as occasion demands.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Sunday, 5 October 2014

Pioneers (1914)
Topic: Canadian Army

Pioneers (1914)

The Guide: A manual for the Canadian Militia (Infantry), Ninth Edition -- Revised 1914; Major-General Sir William D. Otter, K.C.B., C.V.O.

The pioneers are a small section of regimental artificers, competent to repair barracks, furniture, utensils, etc., or do minor mechanical work in barracks or camp, and if need be, instruct others in the same. They should be selected mainly on account of proficiency in their trades, and good character; they may also be employed in the Quarter-Master's store or other duty pertaining to that department.

Each company should have one pioneer, and the distribution of trades in a Battalion of eight companies be as follows: two carpenters; two Bricklayers (one able to plaster, the other to slate); one Smith (able to shoe horses); one Stonemason; one painter and Glazier; one Plumber and Gas Fitter.

A proper outfit of tools, such as picks, spades, shovels, axes, augers, a saw, chisel, crowbar, etc., should be in their possession.

A Sergeant (a carpenter if possible) should have immediate charge, the whole section being under the direction of the Quarter-Master.

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In 2002, the Canadian Army removed the Pioneer and Mortar Platoons from the organization of the infantry battalion. The underlying cause of this decision was a need to reduce the manpower allocation to the infantry, as the alloted number of positions (which were not tied to rank and trade in reallocation) were needed for higher priority tasks within the Canadian Armed Forces. In balance, it was declared that the Engineers would assume the tasks previously undertaken by the Infantry Pioneers, a weak argument since there are never enough engineers for identified tasks in the first place. Similarly, the Artillery would take over the firing tasks of the infantry Mortar Platoons; the weapons, without addidtional crew position, were transfered to the Royal Canadian Artillery.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 5 October 2014 12:24 AM EDT
Saturday, 4 October 2014

Canadian Army Cooking (1956)
Topic: Army Rations


Canadian Armed Forces recruiting banner image for the Cook trade.

No More Ulcers?

Time was when cooks were recruited from the army's odds and sods. If you were a manic-depressive, looked like a camel on the parade square, and otherwise showed no visible talent for the military life they made you a cook.

Montreal Gazette, 9 July 1956

(Vancouver province) — Canadian army cooks, fabled in song and story, are nowadays rising to the giddy eminence of career men with finishing courses at the British Army cooking school at Caterham, England.

Time was when cooks were recruited from the army's odds and sods. If you were a manic-depressive, looked like a camel on the parade square, and otherwise showed no visible talent for the military life they made you a cook.

Now you must be able to read, and find your way around in English recipe books, which calls for even more concentration than ordinary military manuals. Not that there is any danger of cooks going intellectual. Any incipient tendencies of that sort would be taken care of at Caterham.

There is to be a certain professional polish in the Canadian army cuisine henceforth, no doubt affording such intriguing items as "Boeuf de Bully aux Brisquet" and "Garlina-Anacauna Spaghetti" and stuff like that.

But will the British army standards really reduce the incidence of peptic ulcers in the Canadian army?

Inj the last war Canadian army cooking and the Canadian ration were dismaying, but British army cooking was enough to shatter one's faith in the Empire.

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The state of Culinary Arts in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) today:

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Friday, 3 October 2014

District Military Stores (1897)
Topic: Canadian Militia


Carling's Brewery, Ann Street, London, Ontario.
Built 1873-75, and rebuilt in 1879 after fire destroyed the building.

District Military Stores (1897)

The Sarnia Observer; 12 Novemnber 1897
From the London Advertiser

There are thousands of useless knapsacks, some of which have never been in service. There is also a large quantity of old smooth-bore, shot and shell, 9, 24 and 32 pounder, which is decidedly out of date.

As a result of the visit to London of Col. MacDonald, director-general of stores for the Dominion of Canada, there will likely be many changes in the stores department in this city in a very short time. Col. MacDonald spent two days here inspecting the stores, kept at the old building formerly used as Carling's brewery. He was not well pleased with the gun sheds, which are leaky and cold. The colonel thoroughly examined all the stores, and will recommend that a great amount of the material be sold or burned. In one shed there is a pile of useless gun carriages and wheels, which have been laying around the country one place or another ever since the Crimean war. Several off the marquee tents used here at camp time will be sold, with 150 of the smaller tents. There are thousands of useless knapsacks, some of which have never been in service. There is also a large quantity of old smooth-bore, shot and shell, 9, 24 and 32 pounder, which is decidedly out of date. This will be returned to Ottawa, and other shot and shell of more modern manufacture will replace it. Of the old blankets only 280 remain to be sold or sent to the Indians. A few weeks ago 600 of these old blankets were shipped to the Windsor, N.S., fire sufferers. Within the last few days nearly 600,000 rounds of steel Lee-Enfield rifle cartridges have been received, together with a large quantity of diaphragm shells of various descriptions. Besides these there are about 38,000 rounds of Martini cartridges, 52,000 Snider rifles cartridges. The Snider rifles, returned by the Seventh Fusiliers, have all been thoroughly cleaned, and as good as new. The long triangular bayonets, which have been superceded by the short sword-bayonet, lie in small piles at convenient places. They are very unlike the old rusty arms returned a few days ago, having all been polished, and they glisten equally as brightly as the new arms. These bayonets and rifles will be boxed up and returned in a few days to the militia department at Ottawa. One hundred and eight Martini-Metford rifles will also go back.

Sergt. Henry Pratt, an old soldier, who entered the service in 1866, and has been for the last 28 years in the stores department, in in charge of the place, and the cleanliness and order seen there reflect great credit upon him.

When the orders are issued for the artillery, they will be very different from those sent out last year. Two weeks ago two nine-pounders field guns were received from Hamilton, thus making the London Field Battery six guns instead of four. This of course will necessitate the enlistment of one-third more men than the battery has heretofore numbered. The guns and accoutrements are in charge of Sergt.-Major Taylor, who keeps everything in a very creditable condition.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Thursday, 2 October 2014

The RCR Museum (1977)
Topic: The RCR Museum

Invincible Wall Holding Back Museum Work

Ottawa Citizen; 29 June 1977
By Nick Martin, for the Canadian Press

London, Ont.—Five wars have never produced an obstacle that has taken The Royal Canadian Regiment longer to overcome than the washroom wall in its own A-block building.

The invincible wall hides an antiquated washroom that blocks a much-needed expansion of the regimental museum at Wolseley Barracks.

Capt. Ray Britton, museum curator and regimental adjutant, explained that before any structural changes can be made in the museum, the ministry of national defence has to give its approval.

A request to demolish the wall has been meandering through the chain of command for the last year.

The museum has more than enough artifacts for the additional space and enough visitors to justify exhibiting as much material as possible, Britton said.

"By 1983 we hope the museum will encompass a mini-theatre to show historical films and a proper archives," he said, "The museum is becoming more popular, especially to American visitors to the city."

Ironically, more Americans than local residents seem to be aware of the museum's existence, said Cpl. Ed Duffney, one of the forces personnel assigned to the museum. "A lot of people in London don't realize it's here."

Museum Located in Barracks

Located on the second floor of the original barracks building erected in 1886, the museum crams much history into a few square feet.

London children frequently visit it in school or club and scout tours and word is working back to their parents.

Displays of histrical material in area shopping centres, part of a new community program that may be resumed in the fall, should also spread the word about the museum, Britton said.

Since its formation in 1883, The Royal Canadian Regiment, Canada's oldest [regular force infantry regiment], has distinguished itself in the Northwest Rebellion, Boer War, First World War, Second World War, Korean War and in its recent peacekeeping role in Cyprus.

The museum is arranged chronologically, but the proposed expansion would allow it to devote individual rooms to chronological displays of uniforms, weapons, medals and equipment.

"The weapons display is quite an attraction," Master Cpl. Jim Wellhauser said, adding that the Boer War exhibit of old uniforms, equipment and photographs is a close second.

Many Medals Donated to Museum

Medals remain the museum's pride and joy.

"A lot of people donate their medals to the museum," Duffney said, But because medals are so important to those to whom they were aware, those awarded during the Second World War and Korea are generally kept by their owners.

In 1979, Milton Gregg's medals were stolen from The RCR Museum. Their whereabouts remain unknown.

London Free Press, 10 Nov 2012 - Hunt on for storied vet's ripped-off Victoria Cross

London Free Press, 1 Nov 2013 - Milton Gregg’s rare medal was stolen in 1979 from Wolseley Barracks

Britton says he craves a Victoria Cross, but it is a difficult commodity to procure, Former regiment member Brig. Milton Gregg won a Victoria Cross in 1917 at Vimy Ridge Cambrai, but he retains it at his home in Fredericton.

Gregg, a spry 84, visited London recently to take the salute at the regiment's trooping the color ceremony.

Any medal awarded in 1918 or earlier is almost certain to be in the museum's collection. American medals of every nature are also at Wolseley, including the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Not every artifact reflects the spit and polish of the regiment. Many are grim reminders of battles that added names to the roll of honor in the museum's chapel; German shell casings, Nazi flags, Boer bayonets, Russian machine-guns.

The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum

The Royal Canadian Regiment in the First World War


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 19 September 2014 2:21 PM EDT
Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Canadian Army Recuiting; 1949
Topic: Canadian Army

Canadian Army Recuiting; 1949

Not Just a Job

Published in McLean's magazine on 1 October 1949, this Canadian Army recruiting advertisement seeks recruits for the Canadian Army in the Regular or Reserve Force.

RCAF recuiting advertisement; 1949
Click image for larger version.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Pension Scale for Canadian Soldiers (1915)
Topic: CEF

Pension Scale for Canadian Soldiers

Premier Borden Presents Government Proposals to the House of Commons

Comprehensive Plan

Dependents of Killed of Crippled Fighters Carefully Provided For

The Toronto Sunday World; 25 March 1915


The Right Honourable Sir Robert Borden, G.C.M.G., P.C., K.C.
8th Prime Minister of Canada
Oct 1911 – Jul 1920

Ottawa, March 24.—Premiere Borden today laid upon the table of the house of commons the pension regulations for Canadian soldiers, stating that the new regulations were made under the authority of the war measures act but that the pensions would not go into force until parliament gave its approval.

The order-in-council provides that the following rates of pension would be granted militiamen wounded or disabled on active service, during drill, training, or on other military duty, provided the disability was not due to his own fault or negligence.

  • Rank and file: First degree, $264; second degree, $192; third degree, $132; fourth degree, $75.
  • Sergeant: First degree, $336; second degree, $252; third degree, $168; fourth degree, $100.
  • Squadron, Battery or Company Sergeant-Major or Quartermaster-Sergeant: First degree, $372; second degree, $282; third degree, $186; fourth degree, $108. The foregoing also applies to Color Sergeants and Staff Sergeants.
  • Regimental Sergt.-Major and Master Gunner (not W.O.), and Regimental Quartermaster Sergt.: First degree, $432; second degree, $324; third degree, $216; fourth degree, $132.
  • Warrant Officer: First degree, $480; second degree, $360; third degree, $240; fourth degree, $144.
  • Lieutenant: First degree, $480; second degree, $360; third degree, $240; fourth degree, $144.
  • Captain: First degree, $720; second degree, $540; third degree, $360; fourth degree, $216.
  • Major: First degree, $960; second degree, $720; third degree, $480; fourth degree, $288.
  • Lieut.-Colonel: First degree, $1,200; second degree, $900; third degree, $600; fourth degree, $360.
  • Colonel: First degree, $1,440; second degree, $1,080; third degree, $720; fourth degree, $456.
  • Brigadier General: First degree, $2,100; second degree, $1,620; third degree, $1,050; fourth degree, $636.
  • The Classifications

    The first degree shall be applicable to those who are rendered totally incapable of earning a livelihood, as the result of wounds or injuries, or illness contracted in action or in presence of the enemy.

    The second degree shall be applicable to those who are rendered incapable of earning a livelihood as the result of injuries received or illness contracted on active service during drill or training, or on other duty, or are rendered materially incapable as a result of wounds or injuries received or illness contracted in action or in the presence of the enemy.

    The third degree shall be applicable to those who are rendered materially incapable of earning a livelihood as the result of injuries received, or illness contracted on active service, during drill or training, or on other duty, or rendered in a small degree incapable as a result of wounds or injuries received or illness contracted in action, or in the presence of the enemy.

    The fourth degree shall be applicable to those who are rendered in a small degree incapable of earning a livelihood as the result of injuries received, or illness contracted on active service, during drill or training, or on other duty.

Pension Increases

Where the injury is great enough to require the constant services of an attendant, such as the loss of both legs, or both arms, or the loss of sight by both eyes, or where the use of both legs, or both arms, has been permanently lost the first or second degree of pension will be increased by one-third.

In addition to the above rates, a married officer, warrant officer, non-commissioned officer or man, totally incapacitated may draw for his wife half the rate provided under the Pension Act for the widow, and the full rate for the children, of officer, etc., of his rank subject to the limitation respecting the age of the children. After the death of the officer, etc., the widow may then draw the full rate now provided for widows and children.

The mother-widow of a totally disabled soldier may be granted a pension at half the rate fixed for a widow provided the soldier is her sole support and unmarried. In the event of the soldier's decease she may draw the full rate.

Pensions may be paid to the widows and children of those who have been killed in action or who have died from injuries received or illness contracted in active service, during drill or training, or on other military duty at the following rates, provided the soldier's death was not due to his own fault or negligence: rank held by husband, son or father at time of death.

Scale Provided

  • Rank and file—$22 month for widow and $5 a month for each child.
  • Sergeant—$28 a month for widow and $5 a month for each child.
  • Squadron, Battery or Company Sergeant-Major or Quartermaster-Sergeant—$30 a month for widow and $5 a month for each child.
  • Regimental Sergt.-Major (not W.O.)—$30 a month for widow and $5 a month for each child. The same for master gunner and regimental quartermaster-sergeant.
  • Warrant Officer—$32 a month for widow and $5 a month for each child.
  • Lieutenant—$37 a month for widow and $6 a month for each child.
  • Captain—$45 a month for widow and $7 a month for each child.
  • Major—$50 a month for widow and $8 a month for each child.
  • Colonel—$60 a month for widow and $10 a month for each child.
  • Brigadier General—$100 a month for widow and $10 a month for each child.

(A)     A widowed mother, whose only son was her sole support, and unmarried, shall be eligible for pension as a widow without children and subject to the same conditions as hereafter set forth.

(B)     In the case of orphans, the rates shown above for children may be doubled and the pension paid to legally appointed guardians.

No Delays

Pensions to widows and children shall take effect from the day following that on which the death of the husband, etc., occurred, and a gratuity equivalent to two months' pension shall be paid for the first month in addition to the pension.

The pension of a widow, a widowed mother or child may be withheld or discontinued should such widow, etc., be or subsequently proved unworthy or it, or should she be, or become, wealthy. The decision of the minister as to whether a pension should be so withheld or discontinued shall be final.

The pension to a widow or widowed mother shall cease upon her remarriage, but she will be eligible for a gratuity of two years' pension immediately after her marriage.

Neither gratuity nor pension shall be paid on account of a child or orphan over fifteen years of age, if a boy, or over seventeen years of age, if a girl, unless owing to mental or physical infirmity the child or orphan is incapable of earning a livelihood, in which case the pension may be continued wheen the child or orphan is 21 years of age, but no pension will be paid to a child or orphan after marriage.

Individual cases for which the regulations do not provide, or sufficiently provide, will be specially considered by the governor-in-council. Pensions may be paid monthly in advance.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 30 September 2014 1:34 PM EDT
Monday, 29 September 2014

Trooper to Major in One Promotion
Topic: Officers

British Officer, Cashiered for Hitting Nazis, Promoted

ALTTEXT

Lieutenant Colonel Royal Tank Regiment, British Army. Awarded Distinguished Service Order (D.S.O.) and Military Cross (M.C.)

Burial:Greytown Cemetery , Kwazulu Natal; uMzinyathi District Municipality; KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Source: Find a Grave

The Milwaukee Sentinel, 21 February 1942

Camp Borden, Ont., Feb. 20—(AP)—G.P.L. Drake-Brockman, brigadier who was court martialed out of the British Army for striking two German prisoners, has risen from ordinary tank trooper to major in the Canadian army in little more than a month.

Anxious to get into the fight again under the colors of the empire, Drake-Brockman enlisted as a Canadian trooper Jan. 9, scrubbing floors, carrying coal and standing sentry duty.

His promotion in a single step to the rank of major, which has just come through, left him "dumbfounded" with pleasant surprise. "Great Country, this Canada," he declared enthusiastically.

The incident which resulted in his dismissal came shortly after Dunkirk while he was commanding a tank brigade at an English coastal station.

He struck two German airmen who were brought before him after Spitfires shot down their bomber, he explained:

"The spat on the floor, spat on my shoes, then spat on me and called me a bloody English swine—I don't know who could stand this spitting and insulting, this arrogance and beastliness, but I could not."

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British Army Career Notes from London Gazette and Army List

  • LG 4 Aug 1914 — The Border Regiment, Guy Percy Lumsden Drake-Brockman.
  • The Border Regiment, the undermentioned Second Lieutenants to be Lieutenants:— Dated 29th October, 1914. — G.P.L. Drake-Brockman.
  • LG 29 June 1915 — The Border Regiment. — Awarded the Military Cross. — Lieutenant G.P.L. Drake-Brockman.
  • The Border Regiment. — Lieutenant Guy P. L. Drake-Brockman to be temporary Captain. Dated 17th December, 1915.
  • Bord. R.—The undermentioned Lts. to Capts.: — 1st Jan. 1917. — G.P.L. Drake-Brockman, M.C., and to remain secd.
  • The undermentioned appts. are made: — G.S.O. 3rd Grade.—Capt. F. J. Harington, D.S.O., W. York. R., and to be seed., vice Lt. (temp. Capt.) G.P.L. Drake-Brockman, M.C., Bord. R., 28th May 1917.
  • ATTD. TO HD.-QR. UNITS. — 6th Mar. 1918.; Capt. R. H. E. Bennett, M.C., Som. L.I., vice Capt. G.P.L. Drake-Brockman, M.C., Bord. R.
  • The undermentioned temp, appts. are made:— G.S.O. 3rd Grade.—Capt. G.P.L. Drake-Brockman, M.C., Bord. R.- 13th Jan. 1920.
  • "Restd. To the establishment": Bord. R.—11th Jan. 1920. — Capt. G.P.L. Drake-Brockman, M.C.
  • War Office, 3rd February 1920. The KING has been graciously pleased to approve of the undermentioned awards, on the recommendation of the General Officer Commanding-in-chief, Allied Forces, for distinguished service in connection with Military Operations in Murmansk, North,Russia. Dated 11th November 1919 :— Awarded the Distinguished Service Order. — Capt. Guy Percy Lumsden Drake-Brockman, M.C., Bord. R.
  • TEMP. APPT. — The 'undermentioned temp, appts are made: — G.S.O., 3rd Grade.—Capt. C. I. Curteis, M.C., R.A., vice Capt. G.P.L. Drake-Brockman, M.C., Bord. R. 1st June 1920.
  • Border R. —Capt. G.P.L. Drake-Brockman, D.S.O., M.C., to be Adjt. 7th Sept. 1920.
  • Border R. —Capt. G.P.L. Drake-Brockman, D.S.O., M.D., is restd. to the estabt. 8th Aug. 1921.
  • Border R.—Capt. G.P.L. Drake-Brockman, D.S.O., M.C., is secd, for service on the Staff. 28th Mar. 1922.
  • Border R.—Capt. G.P.L. Drake-Brockman, D.S.O., M.O., is secd, for service on the Staff. 1st Mar. 1922. (Substituted for the notification in the Gazette of 21st Apr. 1922.)
  • TANK CORPS. — The undermentioned to be Capts., 29th Sept. 1923, with seniority as stated:— Capt. G.P.L. Drake-Brockman, D.S.O., M.C., from Border R., 1st Jan. 1917, with precedence next above W. B. Gray, D.S.O., M.C., and to retain his present appt.
  • ROYAL TANK COBPS. — Capt. G.P.L. Drake-Brockman, D.S.O., M.C., to be Maj. 16th Oct. 1927
  • ROYAL TANK CORPS. — The undermentioned are secd.:— Maj. G.P.L. Drake-Brockman, D.S.O., M.C., whilst a student at the Staff College, 21st Jan. 1928.
  • ROYAL TANK CORPS. — Maj. G.P.L. Drake-Brockman, D.S.O., M.C., is secd, for serv. on the Staff in India. — 1st Mar. 1932.
  • The undermentioned appts. have been made in India:—G.S.O's., 2nd Grade—Maj. G.P.L. Drake-Brockman, D.S.O., M.C., R.T.C., 1st Mar. 1932.
  • Appointed Brigade Major in India; 28 June 1933 — Maj. G.P.L. Drake-Brockman, D.S.O., M.C., R. Tank Corps, 28th June 1933
  • Bde. Maj.—Maj. G.P.L. Drake-Brockman, D.S.O., M.C., R.T.C., 20th June 1935.
  • ROYAL TANK CORPS. — Maj. G.P.L. Drake-Brockman, D.S.O., M.C., is restd. to the estabt. 20th June 1935.
  • ROYAL TANK CORPS. — Maj. G.P.L. Drake-Brockman, D.S.O., M.C., to be Lt.-Col. 1st Apr. 1937.
  • Army List 1940 — Drake-Brockman, Guy Percy Lumsden, D.S.O., M.C., p.s.c.
    • Born 25/10/94. Border R. 2-Lt. 8/8/14. Lt. 29/10/14 (temp. Capt. 17/12115 to 31/12/16). Capt. 1/1/17. Adjt. 7/9/20 to 7/8/21. R. Tank Corps. Capt. 29/9/23. Maj. 16/10/27. R.T.R. Lt.-Col. 1/4/37. (actg. Brig. 2/9/39 to 1/3/40 ; temp. Brig. 2/3/40).
    • G.S.O.3 France 12/6/16 to 27/5/17. Brig. Maj., France 28/5/17 to 5/3/18. Brig. Maj., Milford Haven Garr. 3/3/18 to -/9/18. Brig. Maj. British Mil. Mission to Russia -/9/18 to 25/10/19. G.S.O.3 Irish Comd. (temp.) 13/1/20 to 31/5/20. G.S.O.3 1/3/22 to 31/3/22. Staff Capt. R. Tank Corps Centre 1/4/22 to 20/10/23. G.S.O.2 India 1/3/32 to 27/6/33. Brig. Maj. India 28/6/33 to 19/6/35.
    • 1914-21. France & Belgium 24/11/14 to 30/3/15 and 18/11/15 to -/2/18. Russia -/11/18 to 9/10/19. Despatches L.G. 22/6/15, 11/12/17 and 3/2/20. 1914-15 S. B.W.M. V.M. D.S.O. M.C.
  • ROYAL ARMOURED CORPS.; R.T.R. — Lt.-Col. G.P.L. Drake-Brockman, D.S.O., M.C., on completion of period of serv. in comd. remains on full pay (super-numerary), ist Apr. 1940.
  • ROYAL ARMOURED CORPS.; R.T.R. — Lt.-Col. G.P.L. Drake-Brockman, D.S.O., M.C. (5336), is dismissed the Service by sentence of a Gen. Court-Martial, 13th Nov. 1940

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 29 September 2014 12:02 AM EDT
Sunday, 28 September 2014

The 1936 Re-organization of the Militia
Topic: Canadian Army

Local Regiments Remaining Intact

Rifles, Black Watch and Guards Are Unaffected by Militia Changes

Others Amalgamated

Royal Montreal and Chateauguay Regiments Established as Machine Gun Battalions

The Montreal Gazette; 17 December 1936

Ottawa, December 16.—(CP)—Examination of the reorganization schedules of the Canadian Non-Permanent Active Militia discloses a drastic whittling in both infantry and cavalry, innumerable conversions of other units from one arm to another, and amalgamations which few regiments have escaped. The cavalry is reduced from 35 regiments to 15 and the infantry from 119 to 69.

The 69 regiments are distributed in 43 infantry rifle battalions and 26 infantry machine gun battalions. Some have disappeared altogether, having been "inactive" and existing only on paper; others will have to re-learn soldiering from a gunner's standpoint, being converted into artillery, Tank and armoured car units swallowed up a few.

As indicated, the mounted arm has been shaved down to 15 regiments, with mounted brigades reduced from nine to four.

Henceforth cavalry brigade headquarters will be located as follows: 1st, Toronto; 2nd, Pincher Creek, Alta.; 3rd, Montreal; and 4th Winnipeg.

The regiments which escape disbandment or conversion, but practically all of them amalgamated with some other unit, follow:

The 1st Hussars, London, Ont,; the Governor General's Horse Guards, Toronto; 2nd 10th Dragoons, Hamilton; 4th princess Louise Dragoon Guards, Ottawa; 17th Hussars, Montreal; 7th 11th Hussars, Bury, Que.; Prince Edward Island Light Horse, Charlottetown; 8th Princess Louise's New Brunswick Hussars, Sussex, N.B.; Fort Garry Horse, Winnipeg; 12th Manitoba Dragoons, Virden; 14th Canadian Light Horse, Climax, Sask.; 16th Saskatchewan Horse, Yorkton; 15th Alberta Light Horse, Calgary; 19th Alberta Dragoons, Edmonton, and the British Columbia Dragoons, Vernon, B.C.

Three cavalry units are mechanized into armored car regiments. These are the 6th Royal Canadian Hussars of Montreal, amalgamated with the 1st Motor Machine Gun Brigade; the King's Canadian Hussars of Kentville, N.S., which takes over "C" Company of the Colchester and Hants Regiment (infantry) and "B" Company of the 6th Battalion Canadian Machine Gun Corps and the British Columbia Hussars of Vancouver, which absorbs Headquarters and "B" Company of the 11th Battalion, C.M.G.C.

A new unit designated the 2nd Armoured Car Regiment, with headquarters at Winnipeg, is formed out of the 2nd Motor Machine Gun Brigade and the 1st Machine Gun Squadron, C.M.G.C.

With regard to infantry, four inactive regiments have been disbanded. These are the Irish Canadian Rangers, Montreal; Les Chasseurs Canadiens, St. Anne de la Perade; the Manitoba Regiment, Winnipeg and the North Alberta Regiment, Ponoka, Alta.

Two companies of the Frontenac Regiment of Napanee, Ont., have been disbanded.

Infantry brigades which have come under the axe are the 3rd, Windsor, Ont.; the 7th, Belleville; the 21st Saskatoon, and the 29th, Edmonton.

Formed by amalgamations of various sorts, 26 infantry machine gun regiments have been established as follows:

  • Ontario: Canadian Fusiliers, London; the Kent Regiment, Chatham; the Perth Regiment, Stratford; the Queen's York Rangers, the Toronto Scottish and the Irish Regiment of Canada, all of Toronto; the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada, Hamilton; the Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury Regiment, Sault Ste. Marie; the Princess of Wales Own Regiment, Kingston; the Prince of Wales Rangers, Peterborough; and the Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa.
  • Quebec: The Royal Montreal Regiment; Le Regiment de Chateauguay, St. Lambert; The Sherbrooke Regiment; Le Regiment de Quebec, and Le Regiment de la Chaudiere, Ste. Claire.
  • Nova Scotia: The North Nova Scotia Highlanders, Amherst, and the princess Louise Fusiliers, Halifax.
  • New Brunswick: The Saint John Fusiliers.
  • Manitoba: The Winnipeg Light Infantry and The Winnipeg Grenadiers.
  • Saskatchewan: The Saskatoon Light Infantry, and the King's Own Rifles of Canada, Moose jaw.
  • Alberta: The Edmonton Fusiliers.
  • British Columbia: The 2nd Battalion Canadian Scottish, Victoria; and The Westminster Regiment, New Westminster.

Infantry regiments converted into artillery are:

  • Ontario: The Wellington Regiment, Guelph; The Bruce Regiment, Walkerton; The Norfolk Regiment, Simcoe; a portion of the Wentworth Regiment, Dundas; The Victoria and Haliburton Regiment, Lindsay; The Grenville Regiment, Kemptville; The Frontenac Regiment, Napanee; and The Kenora Light Infantry, Kenora.
  • Manitoba: The Manitoba Rangers, Brandon.
  • Saskatchewan: The Assiniboine Regiment, Moosomin; and The Yorkton Regiment, Yorkton.
  • British Columbia: The Kootenay Regiment, Cranbrook; and The North British Columbia Regiment, Prince Rupert.

Four infantry tank battalions have been established from the Essex Regiment, Windsor; The Ontario Regiment, Oshawa; The Three Rivers Regiment, and the Calgary Regiment.

43 Regiments Unaffected

Unaffected by the reorganization, and continuing presumably as infantry rifle battalions are 43 regiments:

  • Ontario: The Oxford Rifles, Woodstock; the Highland Light Infantry of Canada, Galt; the Scots Fusiliers of Canada, Kitchener; the Essex Scottish Highlanders, Windsor; the Elgin Regiment, St. Thomas; the 48th Highlanders, Toronto; the Lanark and Renfrew Scottish, Perth; the Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders, Cornwall; the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment, Trenton; the Governor General's Foot Guards, Ottawa; the Brockville Rifles.
  • Quebec: Le Regiment de Hull; the Victoria Rifles of Canada, Montreal; the Black Watch, Montreal; the Canadian Grenadier Guards, Montreal; le Regiment de St. Hyacinth; les Fusiliers de Sherbrooke; les Fusiliers Mont-Royal, Montreal; le Regiment de Joliette; le Regiment de Mainssoneuve; le Regiment de Montmagny; les Fusiliers de St. Laurent, Rimouski; the Royal Rifles of Canada, Quebec; les Voltiguers de Quebec; les Frace Tireurs du Saguenay, Chicoutimi, and les Regiment de Levis.
  • Nova Scotia: The Halifax Rifles, the Pictou Highlanders; and the Cape Breton Highlanders, Sydney, N.S.
  • Prince Edward Island: The P.E.I. Highlanders, Charlottetown.
  • New Brunswick: The North Shore (N.B.) Regiment, Chatham, and the New Brunswick Rangers, Sussex.
  • Manitoba: The Winnipeg Rifles, and the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada, Winnipeg.
  • Saskatchewan: All Saskatchewan infantry units are amalgamated or converted. Three are rifle regiments—the Prince Albert and Battleford Volunteers, the South Saskatchewan Regiment, and the Regina Rifle Regiment.
  • Alberta: The Calgary Highlanders and the Edmonton Regiment.
  • British Columbia: The British Columbia Regiment, Vancouver; the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada, Vancouver; and the Rocky Mountain Rangers, of Kamloops. The Irish Fusiliers of Canada are merged with the Vancouver Regiment, into an infantry rifle battalion.

Canadian Army Battle Honours


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Saturday, 27 September 2014

The Cost of War
Topic: CEF

The Cost of War

The Granby Leader-Mail, 5 November 1936

Carleton Place, Ont.—The Canadian War memorial at Vimy Ridge which was recently unveiled by His Majesty, King Edward, bears the names of 11,285 Canadians who were killed in action in France, but whose resting places are unknown.

More than five times that number of Canadians were killed during the Great War. The actual number was 59,544. There were 138,166 wounded and 34,784 non-fatally injured, making a total of 232,494 casualties.

That was a heavy price to pay in manpower for a country of so small a population as Canada. Now does it tell the whole story. There was the aftermath of sickness and death, agony and wretchedness. During the period of hostilities, however, every second man who crossed the English Channel to France was killed, wounded or injured. The chance that he would not come back to Canada physically fit was fifty-fifty.

The financial cost is another side. In 1930 it was estimated that the total increase in the national debt of two billions between 1914 and 1930 was attributed entirely due to the war. Under the heading “war and demobilization” Canada spent 51,696,000,000 and in the fiscal year 1936 alone, the amount of money required for war pensions amounted to eleven per cent of the Dominion revenues while the care of returned soldiers took another three per cent. The two items together required one-seventh of the total monies received in the year by the Dominion.

elipsis graphic

Updated casualty figures posted online by Veterans Affairs Canada are as follows:

The armistice of November 11, 1918, brought relief to the whole world. Never before had there been such a conflict. For a nation of eight million people Canada's war effort was remarkable. 620,000 men and women served — 66,655 gave their lives and another 172,950 were wounded. It was this immense sacrifice that lead to Canada's separate signature on the Peace Treaty. No longer viewed as just a colony of England, Canada had truly achieved nation status. This nationhood was purchased by the gallant men who stood fast at Ypres, stormed Regina Trench, climbed the heights of Vimy Ridge, captured Passchendaele, and entered Mons on November 11, 1918.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Friday, 26 September 2014

The Bayonet--Spirit Weapon
Topic: Tradition

The Bayonet—Spirit Weapon

We all know that the bayonet is seldom used to kill an enemy.* Combat experiences of World Wars I and II have pointed up this fact. It is difficult to find a man who has actually killed with cold steel. Bullets are better; no soldier in his right senses will engage in a bayonet duel while he still has a loaded rifle. Bullets are surer, easier.

[US Army] Infantry School Quarterly, Vol 37, No 2, October, 1950
By Major Schiller F. Shore, Infantry

Editor's Note: This article represents the opinion of the writer, not necessarily that of The Infantry School.

We all know that the bayonet is seldom used to kill an enemy.* Combat experiences of World Wars I and II have pointed up this fact. It is difficult to find a man who has actually killed with cold steel. Bullets are better; no soldier in his right senses will engage in a bayonet duel while he still has a loaded rifle. Bullets are surer, easier.

For these reasons the bayonet and bayonet training have fallen into a period of what is known as "deemphasis." This is a long and nebulous word for "forget it; you won't need it."

It is easy to see the logic behind "deemphasis" of the bayonet. If we're not going to use it, let's cut out the hours spent on bayonet training and put them to use on training we do need.

This has been done. The hoarse-voiced bayonet instructors have disappeared. And bayonet training is now con sidered as merely the excellent physical conditioner that it is.

The writer maintains that this is excellent logic but poor psychology.

We have already discussed the logic of deemphasis, and few of us will find fault with it. But let us now look at the psychology of it.

Our infantrymen are taught to "close with and capture or destroy the enemy." This is the ultimate goal of all training. In the final phase of an assault our infantrymen come within--for want of a better word--spitting distance of the enemy. Or, if you prefer, close combat.

Well, what weapon in all our armament is symbolic of close combat?

I think it is the bayonet and what goes with it--the spirit of the bayonet, offensive-mindedness, and the will to kill.

All these things are tied in, in some intangible way, with the bayonet on the end of the rifle. I believe it belongs there, that it looks good there, that even though it seldom explores an enemy gut (bullets being better), the sight of cold steel brings fear to the defender and an extra bit of courage and confidence to the man who knows how to use it if he has to.

By "deemphasizing" the bayonet and the spirit of the bayonet as we used to teach it, this writer believes that we subtract in some measure from the spirit of the offensive and the will to close with the enemy. We strip ourselves of a "spirit" weapon that cannot be replaced by a pistol, a knife, a flamethrower, or any other lethal device. The bayonet is a tradition that we should not discard. Let us "reemphasize" the bayonet. Bring back the old time bayonet sergeants (though modifying their enthusiastic opinion that the bayonet is the only weapon). Let us reinstate cold steel as the symbol of final assault, even though bullets rightly do most of the killing.

*NOTE: A recent and notable exception is the case of Major John Cook, late of The Infantry School in the Korean War. Surrounded by infiltrating Communists, Cook emptied his pistol into the charging Reds, picked up a rifle, shot several of the enemy, and then, his ammunition gone, used his bayonet for a final kill before he himself was killed. He was awarded the DSC.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Thursday, 25 September 2014

They Are Returning
Topic: Remembrance

They Are Returning

E.J. Pratt

On 15 June 1945 McLean's magazine commisioned and published this poem by E.J. Pratt, a leading Canadian poet and three-time recipient of the Governor General's Award for poetry.

RCAF recuiting advertisement; 1949
Click image for larger version.

RCAF recuiting advertisement; 1949
Click image for larger version.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT

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